While I balance a lot of my time between working as an English assistant and LSAT studying, I still make time to appreciate the beauty of Granada. Granada is a fairly small city in southern Spain, with a population of 230,000. To give you an idea, it takes about 10-15 minutes to walk from one end of the city center to the other. Despite its small size, Granada is nationally acknowledged as a beautiful and magical place. The Alhambra, an impressive fortress, overlooks the city and gives it a whimsical and mystical feel. Just by walking through the streets of Granada, you recognize its long and rich history. For centuries, Granada was under Muslim rule and it served as a popular trading center. Granada was the last standing Muslim city before it surrendered to the Catholic Monarchs (Isabella I and Ferdinand V) in 1492!
If you pay attention, you’ll notice the subtle presence of Queen Isabella in the city. The Cathedral of Granada, the most impressive structure within the center, has the initials of Isabel and Ferdinand all around the Church. The Cathedral of Granada was built directly over the Nasrid Great Mosque of Granada (the Nasrid Dynasty was the last Muslim dynasty in power) shortly after the conquest of Granada by the Catholic Monarchs.
Also, along Calle Recogidas, a busy shopping street in the center, there are statues of Isabella I and Christopher Columbus in the Plaza Isabel la Catolica. The statues depicts Queen Isabella on a throne and Columbus is in front of her, showing her a map. Not too far from Granada, Queen Isabella granted Columbus approval for his 1492 historic expedition. The monument is in honor an event that changed the course of history.
With spring just around the corner, the sunny days are perfect to explore the city. Despite it getting warmer, the weather in Granada changes enough that one hour you need a jacket while the next you’d be fine with a sweater. Layering works best for this type of weather, giving you both the benefit of adjusting to the sun and adding texture to your outfit. For this day out, I went with a lighter tone in honor of the incoming spring!
And of course no day in Granada is complete without a tapas stop! Granada is one of the few places in Spain that continues to give a free tapa with the purchase of a drink. (A tapa is like a small appetizer of a snack). Going out for tapas is an affordable and Andalusian way to enjoy life. With a glass of wine costing between 2-3 euros, it’s hard to resist!
Despite its size, every time I walk through Granada I discover something new. Whether it’s a new tapas place or a new historical fun fact, this city never disappoints!